ELIO RAFFAELI: Born in Venice in 1936 to a Muranese family, Elio Raffaeli lived and studied on the Island of Murano, the glassblowing capital of Venice. At the age of fifteen, he was hired by the Seguso-Dalla Venezia glass factory where he made the acquaintance of Piero Scaramal, his first master. There he was taught the basic secrets of the magic art of Murano. Raffaeli worked with Scaramal for seven years, first as a garzone and subsequently as first assistant, maturing both as a person and as a glassblower.
Misfortunes at the Seguso-Dalla Venezia factory compelled him to move to another prestigious firm, Salviati. Here Raffaeli refined his capabilities as a glass master, perfecting both the techniques of blowing delicate glass pieces and those of making solid glass sculpture.
In 1966 he moved on to a newly formed factory, Briati, where he was hired as a master and given a piazza. Here he began to interpret with balanced precision the designs of the famous Flavio Poli. Next Raffaeli went to work with Livio Seguso, one of the great 20th century sculptors, where he forged a working relationship and friendship with the young Roberto Cammozzo.
ROBERTO CAMMOZZO: Roberto was born in Murano on July 24, 1945. At a very young age he began to learn the secrets of glass-making as an apprentice to Ermanno Nason, then the master glassblower at the Mazzega glassworks. Roberto went on to the famous Salviati factory, where he worked side-by-side with Livio Seguso. When Seguso founded his own furnace, he took Roberto with him. There Commozzo worked for many years, developing the necessary skills to master the making of large sculptural forms.
During these years Cammozzo also studied with several of the most eminent glass masters, such as Tosi, Fuga, and Mavrodin. He received many awards and was lauded for his exceptional technical ability. In 1980 Roberto Cammozzo and Elio Raffaeli began their own small enterprise with another glass worker from the Seguso factory.
They have built a huge following for their various pieces of sculptures with small fish and sealife embedded within. Their continual creativity has assured their success and enabled them to expand into a beautiful new facility in 1997. There they have continued to flourish. Artists from around the world have sought them out for their great technical expertise: Robert Wilson from the U.S.A., Fujita from Japan, and Alfredo Sosabravo from Cuba. Their ability to work on a very large scale is unique in Murano. And there is always the clarity of their glass, its color and its grace of execution.